Tag Archives: Der Spiegel

Cultural Analysis German-Style

photo of Big Brother Germany

Bernadette from "Big Brother Germany"

The German magazine Der Spiegel published a group-authored piece on Germany’s version of the television program “Big Brother.”  The analysis included a reference to the work of the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg.  (We can leave aside for the moment considerations about the different resonances the title “Big Brother” might have in Germany.)

In the Christian philosophy of the late Middle Ages, God and religion controlled everything and everyone. The philosopher Hans Blumenberg used the term ‘theological absolutism’ to describe the phenomenon. If we consider the developments that began with the advent of “Big Brother” and have emerged since then, society has spent the last 10 years heading toward a state that could be described as medial absolutism. Nowadays the media, not unlike God and religion in the past, has become the superior power that dominates everything.

How often do you read in American periodicals geared toward what we might call the average reader analyses of popular culture that include applications of philosophical works?  As categorical designations go, do you expect to see postmodernism supplanted by a chronological period to be known as the age of “medial absolutism”?